Youngstown results reflect election of black vs. white


YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown is one city that will have a new mayor next year.

But it is two cities that voted in Tuesday night’s historic change:

One city is a population of white residents who largely voted one way. The other city is a population of black residents largely voting another.

It not only decided a mayoral seat, but also a judgeship and a council president post.

“The issue of race is stronger than the issue of political ideology,” said ousted Mayor John A. McNally, who was the Mahoning County Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate. “The party wasn’t the controlling issue in this election. Race was – and it’s been that way before.”

The Rev. Kenneth Simon, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church and a prominent local black leader, said it’s a move out of last resort.

“The African-American community has almost been forced to take the stance [of voting for black candidates] because the other side of the tracks will always vote for the [white] candidate,” he said. “It shouldn’t have to be that way. There’s qualified people [of all races]. Let’s embrace our diversity and support people of all ethnicities who are qualified. I don’t know why we can’t get to that.”

Jamael Tito Brown won the Democratic primary for mayor over incumbent McNally by 461 votes, but the race by ward wasn’t competitive.

Brown, who is black, dominated in the city’s predominantly black wards – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th.

McNally, who is white, was the winner in the 4th, 5th and 7th wards, with a concentration of white residents.

Read more about the matter in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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